The Secret Attack on Gallipoli in 1473

Ottoman Gallipoli - painting by Antoine-Laurent Castellan (1772–1838)

During the Venetian-Ottoman wars, a group of seven men attempted a secret attack on the Ottoman base at Gallipoli. The attack did not go completely as planned…

Ritualized Violence against Sorcerers in Fifteenth-Century France


These tales of violence and sorcery reveal interesting interactions with renowned sorcerers in villages that had not yet become involved in the witch hunts that were beginning to break out in the mountains in eastern France

‘Que lo lean literalmente’: Clerical Ignorance and a Late Medieval Wedding Ceremony

medieval wedding

There is ample evidence that in late-medieval Spain a vast number of priests charged with carrying out the Church’s everyday liturgical responsibilities were undereducated and had little or no capacity in that language.

New Richard III Art Exhibit Opens Today

This painting entitled Sanctuary for a King, the first in the series, will be sold by silent auction with proceeds from the sale being donated to Leicester Cathedral.

Renowned Leicester artist exhibit of the reinterment of Richard III at Leicester Cathedral opens today

Lasting Falls and Wishful Recoveries: Crusading in the Black Sea Region after the Fall of Constantinople

16th century map of the Black Sea

This paper examines the Black Sea question in the second half of the 15th century, with special emphasis on crusading and religious questions.

Places to See: The King Richard III Visitor Centre in Leicester

Standing over the spot Richard III was discovered at the King Richard III Visitor's Centre in Leicester. Photo by

Now that Richard III has been laid to rest, and his tomb is open to the public for viewing, what more is there left to see when you’re in Leicester? Plenty.

The Sumptuous Use of Food at Castle Marienburg (Malbork) at the Start of the Fifteenth Century

Malbork reno

The prestige role of luxury food consumption was particularly visible during meetings of an international character: Teutonic-Lithuanian, Teutonic-Polish or Teutonic-Polish-Lithuanian, to which the grand master would come accompanied by the highest Order’s officials.

Getty Museum opens Renaissance Splendors of the Northern Italian Courts exhibition

Cutting from an antiphonal - Cutting from an antiphonal, early 16th century. Master B.F. (Italian, active about 1495 - 1510). Tempera and gold leaf on parchment. 6 1/2 x 6 1/2 in. 2009.5. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. 104

The J. Paul Getty Museum has opened its newest exhibition – Renaissance Splendors of the Northern Italian Courts – which brings together 25 works including illuminated manuscripts, paintings and drawings that showcases the beautiful artistic production taking place in cities such as Milan and Ferrara during the 15th century.

Writing About Richard III: Admissible Sources and Emotional Responses


What is it about Richard III that provokes an emotional response, when so many other British monarchs are of scant interest to twenty-first century people?

Philippa Langley: The End of Richard III and the Beginning of Henry I

Philippa Langley placing a rose on Richard's casket. Will Johnston - Leicester Cathedral.

Amidst all the excitement, and the whirlwind that was Richard III’s reburial in Leicester, I managed to catch up with one of the world’s most famous Ricardians, ‘the Kingfinder’, Philippa Langley.

The Road to Richard: The Reburial of the Last Plantagenet

Richard III arrives at St. Nicholas Church to be placed onto a horse drawn carriage for the final leg of his journey to Leicester Cathedral.

While there have been outcries over the pomp and circumstance surrounding Richard’s extravagant burial, there has also been a renewed sense of pride and upswing in popularity for this much maligned monarch.

Quiz: The Battles of the Wars of the Roses

battles of the wars of the roses

How well do you know your timelines – can you correctly place in order these nine battles from the Wars of the Roses?

Top Ten Insults against Savonarola

Girolamo Savonarola by Fra Bartolomeo, c. 1498, Museo di San Marco, Florence.

‘He is a fruit quite worthy of his diabolical seed.’

Crowdfunding project to restore medieval prayer book closes in on goal

Mary of Guelders prayer book - photo courtesy Radbound University

In less than two weeks a crowdfunding campaign to restore a 600 year old manuscript has already raised three-quarters of €25,000 it is asking for.

Margaret Beaufort, Mother of King Henry VII

Margaret Beaufort

Margaret Beaufort, Mother of King Henry VII By Susan Abernethy Lady Margaret Beaufort was the matriarch of the Tudor dynasty of Kings in England. Her life was greatly influenced by the turning of the Wheel of Fortune. That she managed to survive the vagaries of the War of Roses in England is something at which […]

A Fifteenth-Century Merchant in London and Kent: Thomas Walsingham (d.1457)

Ruins of Scadbury Manor- photo Ian Yarham

In 1424 the London citizen and vintner Thomas Walsingham acquired the manor of Scadbury, then in the parish of Chislehurst in north-west Kent.

Which Of These Foods Were Available In 15th Century England?

John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, dining with John I, King of Portugal.

Some of these foods were available when King Richard III was on the throne, others were not. Can you guess what might have been on your shopping list back in 15th century England?

Obscenity Out of the Margins: Mysterious Imagery Within the Cent nouvelles nouvelles, MS Hunter 252

Miniature illustrating tale 30 of the Cent Nouvelles nouvelles (Tale of the three friars).

The blatant portrayal of male genitalia is reminiscent of fourteenth-century marginalia, but here is located front and centre. Unlike marginalia, which was either allegorically related or not related at all to the text, these images are a direct portrayal of events recounted in the tales which they accompany. How can we explain where the inspiration for these images came from and how they fit into the ideas and conventions of the context in which they were created?

Cannonball from Wars of the Roses battle discovered

Battle of Northampton cannonball  - photo courtesy  The Battlefields Trust

A lead ball, believed to be the oldest cannonball ever found in England, has been discovered on the site of the Battle of Northampton.

Scattered voices: Anthonis de Roovere and other reporters of the wedding of Charles the Bold and Margaret of York

Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy, here around 1460 as Count of Charolais

Both sources are of great value for those who study the Bruges wedding, with the impact it had on its contemporaries, and the way in which our present-day picture of it came about.

The Isabella Breviary

Moleiro_article1 (2)

Within its pages lie some of the finest illuminations ever painted during the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance.

10 Creepy Things to See at the Louvre That Are Better Than the Mona Lisa

Catherine de Medici - Louvre

If you’re an ancient historian, a medievalist, or early modernist, there are so many other amazing pieces and works of art a the Louvre other than these two tourist staples. Here is my list of cool, creepy, unusual and better than the Mona Lisa at the Louvre in Paris.

Owain Glyndwr and the siege of Coity Castle, 1404-1405

coity castle - photo by Ben Salter / Flickr

The siege of Coity was indeed significant for its length and its importance, and it was indeed historic, because it is the most famous event associated with the castle in the entire 900 years of its existence. Yet we know very little about the siege and the circumstances surrounding it, even though it lasted for a good part of two years

Charlotte of Savoy, Queen of France


Charlotte of Savoy, Queen of France By Susan Abernethy Charlotte of Savoy came from a large family and was married at the tender age of nine under difficult circumstances. Her husband, the Dauphin Louis of France was twenty-eight at the time of the wedding and they would not consummate the marriage until Charlotte was sixteen. […]

Witchcraft Trials In Sweden: With Neighbours Like These, Who Needs Enemies?!

Olaus-Magnus - depiction of a witch 16th c.

Everyone has “that” neighbour on their floor, or street who they’d secretly love to move to Mars and never see again. Well, the Early Modern Swedes had a way of dealing with those kinds of nasty neighbours…

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